Georgia Tech coach Paul Johnson doesn’t buy “being on the same page.” He’s also not spending money on “playing faster,” “simpler schemes” or anything else that he’s hearing right now as reasons given by anyone, including his players, as to why his team seems different this season than last, when it won the ACC championship.
He’s aggravated at his team, all right. He said that he’s “up their tail right now, and I’m going to be until they reach their potential. I’m not trying to be their friend, I’m trying to be their coach.”
But some of his aggravation is focused on the Chicken Little perception that the offense isn’t as good as it was last year and the defense is falling apart.
The truth is the team is in almost the same spot as it was last season: 2-1 in the ACC. The biggest difference between this season and last is this year’s schedule is backloaded with Clemson, Miami and Virginia Tech, whereas last season most of the tough conference games were played in late September and early October.
He stopped his Tuesday press conference for a few seconds while someone tried to answer how many yards per carry the team averaged last season, compared to this season.
The answer: 5.2 last season to 5.6 this season.
The average points scored: 29.6 this season to 33.8 last season.
It’s not that bad. Though he’s not happy.
While the defense played better last week against Wake Forest, he said people shouldn’t be patting themselves on the back. There are still lots of issues: notably, a lack of big plays and trouble converting on 3rd downs.
In two blogs later today, we will take a look at these two areas and what is causing them.
But for now, Johnson is trying to bring out the best in the team.
“If we get beat by a team that is more talented and is clearly the better team, but we go out there and try hard and we do the right things, then it doesn’t do any good to yell at them,” Johnson said. “But, I don’t believe that to be the case to this point. I don’t think we are playing up to our potential and it is up to me to make them play up to their potential. Do I want to be the heavy all the time and the bad guy? No. I would love for somebody else to do it, but I don’t see anybody else doing it so therefore it is up to me.”
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